Scuff between foreigner and cop in Dasma Makati

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The story about Jaime Parra, a foreigner living with his Filipina wife in posh Dasmarinas Village in Makati and the cop he had a scuffle with, is interesting. First, this happened shortly after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte toyed with the idea of imposing martial law in response to alleged attacks by Communist rebels against state troopers. And second, government announcement on the extension of the enhanced community quarantine which was received by the public without nary an opposition heard.

Based on the video and several other testimonies, it seems that this cop was sent by the barangay captain of the exclusive subdivision to check on alleged violators of the city ordinance. The ordinance, Makati city ordinance no. 2020-089 penalizes persons who do not wear face masks when they are in public places.

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The cop first saw the maid of Parra watering plants. He advises her to get her face mask on. The maid obliged.

Then a shirtless Mr. Parra appeared and confronted the cop. Since he wasn’t wearing a face mask, the cop advised him to do so, but instead of obliging, Mr. Parra questioned the cop and asked him to leave his property. The video shows the cop outside Mr. Parra’s drive way, while Mr. Parra overstepped twice on the public road.

When Mr. Parra refused to go with the cop, the cop overstepped his boundaries and without warning, followed Mr. Parra into his house. When Mr. Parra refused to submit himself to arrest, the cop tried to physically submit him, without considering that he has a physical condition. They had a scuffle.

Eventually, Mr. Parra was able to go back to his house. However, this did not end there. The cops, together with several barangay officials, went back and informed Mr. Parra that they would file charges against him.

Now, why is this interesting? Well, first, this is a very dangerous precedent. This concerns human rights. Seems that our police forces are ill equipped to handle such situations.

Whatever people say that Mr. Parra was arrogant, etal, the fact is this– he knew his rights and wanted nothing more than be recognized and be respected of those rights. It is not his arrogance that made this video a viral one–it is really the way the cop treated this person–foreigner or not.

The cop should have exercised maximum tolerance. Granted that Mr. Parra violated an ordinance, but he should have at least respected the person. Netizens say that foreigner has been the community’s headache since he lived in that area but again, that does not justify he being maltreated by the cop.

As a cop, one should be a paragon of fairness and of law. Yes, Mr. Parra probably deserved to be arrested but it should have been done without incident.

Someone says equality in the eyes of the law and I agree. Whatever status Mr. Parra has, it does not justify his rude treatment of the cop, the very same way Mr. Parra also did not deserve to be maltreated by the cop. They both have rights but as a cop, the country expects him to exercise more prudence and understanding since he, as a cop, is a public servant. And these are extraordinary times.

The point here is that civil rights, especially of persons, should always be respected by anyone especially those in authority. It is not an excuse that we are under an emergency or even martial law. These kinds of incidents really make the people edgy and hesitant to even ponder once more a nation under tyranny.

 

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